President Barack Obama
has nominated the commander of Fort Leavenworth to lead US and NATO efforts to train Afghan forces.
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV would join the war's top US commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, if confirmed by the Senate this fall. McChrystal is pushing for more help in developing Afghanistan's fledgling military.
Caldwell has led the Kansas post since July 2007, and guided development of the US Army's plans for training foreign security forces. His new position would focus on training local army and police forces in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, al-Qaida and other terrorists.
John Nagl, president of the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC, said Caldwell's nomination is a recognition by the Pentagon of the importance of the mission, elevating the command from a two-star to three-star general. Nagl noted the deployment of a 82nd Airborne Division brigade to train Afghan forces, but he said more troops and resources will be needed.